I have never liked the name Candytuft, it sounds rather too American…not that I am anti American of course but I’m not the sort of chap who wears a baseball cap either…and certainly not back to front. But as it turns out the name refers to the former name of Iraklion on the Island of Crete. This of course has a much more glorified history…and now of course…I rather like the name. Yes, I am fickle…so shoot me.
Annual Candytuft (Iberis Umbellata) is a wonderful flower to grow from seed…it is very straight forward and produces very good results. The flowers are both pretty and sweet scented…leave some in a small vase by your mother in law’s bed when she comes to stay…and she will love you forever and forget about the incident with the Peach schnapps and the Grandfather clock.
Candytuft ‘Crown’ is my fav for cutting…it lasts well and produces hundreds of flowers. Change the vase water everyday if you can and they should last ten days. Yes I know changing vase water is a faff…of course it is…but it will really make ALL of your cut flowers last longer. Remember your home grown flowers haven’t been sprayed with preservative fluids and other such gunk as will have likely happened from supermarket flower sthat have been flown in from Kenya or Columbia.
How To Grow Candytuft From Seed
*You can sow in September and/or in Spring.
*Candytuft won’t tolerate shade so make sure your flower bed is in full sun.
*As usual make sure your bed is weed free and the soil prepared to a fine tilth.
*Either direct sow in the soil in mid April to late May or sow in early April in pots undercover.
*I sow in straight lines in my cut flower patch…I make a shallow drill of about 3 mm…prewater this drill before putting your seeds in…then cover over with dry soil…this soil will be warm and will incubate your seeds…and all will be well in Candytuft land.
*Thin out seedlings when they are a couple of inches high to a spacing of six inches or so.
*Candytuft is suited to a range of soil types but it is never a bad thing to dig in some organic material before sowing to improve your soil structure.
Please feel free to waltz about in The Higgledy Garden Seed Shop.
PS Another quirky little number to grow is Echinops ‘Ritro’.